What is your novel Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood about?
I would tell you the book is about friendship, figuring out what you really want in life, and how payback can be a bitch. Then because this is totally a vague answer that tells you absolutely nothing, I would point you to a more formal description that the publisher came up with.
Popularity is the best revenge.
In the final weeks of eight grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.
But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren--starting with her boyfriend.
Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
What inspired you to write this novel?
I was talking with a friend about how most people we know had the experience of having someone you thought you could trust, someone you may have thought was a friend, totally screw you over. Maybe they cheated with your boyfriend, or they shared your secrets with someone, or you found out they were telling lies about you behind your back. Whatever they did, it totally rocked your world because until that point you didn't think someone you liked and trusted was capable of doing that. We each shared our story and then talked about the ways we wished we could have gotten revenge on that person. Later that weekend I was cleaning my bookshelves (which I have to do all the time because my house is basically buried under books) and came across a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. This is a great book about revenge and I started flipping through it and thinking how great it would be to come back to town if no one knew who you were and to have a chance to take someone down who had hurt you.
The book combined with that discussion starting my brain spinning. I started to sketch out the idea and after a few pages I was off and running.
What are your main characters like?
Helen/Claire is the main character. She's been betrayed by someone who she thought was her best friend. She's convinced her life would be totally different if this hadn't happened to her. When she has a chance to come back and get revenge on Lauren, she can't resist. At first the revenge is a lot of fun, but she begins to notice that it is taking over her life.
There is Lauren Wood of course, the one who betrays Helen. I'll be interested to see what people think of her. I had a lot of fun writing her character. Writing people who are bad is fun.
Do you have any favorite characters?
I love them all! This is the problem with writing them. You spend so much time with them that you feel like they are friends except for the part where you realize they are all made up.
I have a fondness for Christopher. He is a classic film nut, he watches old black and white movies all the time and plans to be a director in the film industry. He's totally comfortable with who he is and doesn't worry what other people think of him. I admire people who have that much confidence. Plus, he's really cute.
Have you ever done something crazy in order to get revenge on someone?
I've never done anything to get revenge, but I sure have thought about it sometimes! If I want to sound all grown up and Zen I would tell you that living a happy life is the best revenge. If we use that definition then I've gotten revenge. I'm really lucky. I love my life, I have a great husband, dogs and get to write books. That's pretty darn good.
I am one of those people who does have a long memory. If you've been mean to me or someone I care about, I don't forget. I wouldn't get revenge, but I sure wouldn't go out of my way to do anything nice for you.
Thank you so much Eileen! It sounds fantastic!!!